A misconduct panel into the alleged actions of a Suffolk mental health nurse at a now closed down hospital has retired to consider its verdict. 

Tapuwa Kaja is accused of not noticing or reporting that her nurse colleague had fallen asleep during a patient observation at St John’s House mental health hospital in Palgrave in 2020.

The nurse has already admitted one charge of giving a patient a drinks can which the patient then used to harm themselves, which took place a year prior at Astley Court, Little Plumstead Hospital, Norwich.

Giving evidence at the Nursing and Midwifery Council hearing, Ms Kaja admitted an error in judgement in leaving the patient momentarily to get her a drink and giving her a can, which was prohibited.

She said: “I was under pressure to give her a drink and I could not find another staff member as they were busy attending to other patients at that time. Under pressure, I overlooked the risks associated with this patient.”

On the incident at St John’s House, the nurse, who is currently a primary care mental health practitioner for Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, denies being aware that her colleague had fallen asleep.

An observation sheet was supposedly pre-populated ahead of time, though Nurse Kaja suggests someone falsified her signature on this.

The panel retired to consider their verdict at around 2pm today.